Safete Rogova, 72, born on 1 March 1946, from Gjakova, currently living in Prishtina. Mother of two daughters Iliriana Loxha Basha and Alba Loxha. She considers that her life is characterized by sincerity and faithfulness.
When she recalls her childhood, she thinks she has had a happy childhood. She states that she grew up into a big family. “We were nine children and at that time we did not have good economic conditions. Our parents were looking for the opportunities and doing everything to feed us, but, we did not have any toys. We created toys ourselves in our imagination. We were making dolls with different materials that leftovers from our mother’s tailor work. Since we had a big yard, we made up various games by twisting two sheets to the trees, setting a stage to show our talents. As I was very good in poetry recitation, I was proud of being the best. When we left Gjakova in 1956, my dad opened a shop in Pristina and thought that it would be better for us to go to school. Yet, I came home to tears because my teacher Besnik Koci was imprisoned. By coming to Pristina, I was even sadder when I saw the caravan of people loading trucks to leave for Turkey. These scenes for me as a child were shocking but continued to be repeated through the years 1968 – 1999. I do not know if they will ever end up.”
Safete started to fight for women’s rights back in the time of the exodus she experienced as a kid, then the new protests in 1988, the demonstrations … as it seemed to her that the girls and women were the most vulnerable. In the ’88, the boys were fleeing from the police crossing the high walls, the girls were rotten across the wire … when my daughter Iliriana returned from the protests she had blood on her knees and hands … Then, we the women who were marching would turn back crushed, but with a pledge that we will never stop. Often times we sacrificed our family, children for our cause. Often it happened that we have left the children in God’s hand, but we had to travel from village to village, from hill to mountain to help the women and children in risk and it happened that we were also endangered.
Two important activities that Safete recalls forever as the most powerful ones were: the establishment of the Association “Motrat Qiriazi” and the Women’s Movement in 1990. Each had its own weight. “Motrat Qiriazi” had been given the task of not leaving children without school, especially girls, and persuading parents to send their children to school. The beginning was difficult because the political situation was also severe. Thousands of workers, teachers were dismissed. But, the Women’s Movement made great curves for the position of women. Many activists joined the Democratic League to create many women leaders whose voices would be heard inside and outside the country. My activity has been closely linked with art to stimulate young people in this field. We have published many poetry books like Shqipe Malushi, Flora Brovina, Fakete Rexha, Margit Markaj. We recorded dozens of radio-drama, fairy tales, Margite Markaj’s Resurrection movie, and many documentary films like “Yllka Domi”, “Women from Drenica”, “Mother Teresa”, and “Kosovo My Cradle”. In particular we performed many plays related to the violence against women. She recalls that while playing the women’s stories during the war based on the book of Sanije Gashi “Never again”, we were crying, the audience was crying… but Nekibe Kelmendi’s sob is never going to be erased from her memory.
As far as the equal rights are concerned in Kosovo, Safete believes that with all these years of struggle and fight, women’s rights are much more realized nowadays. Perhaps it should be continued with women’s engagement in politics. But those women when they get there, they should not behave like men and fight for their career only. They should turn they heads towards other women and their well-being. Solidarity above all.
The family should also play a significant role. We need to raise and educate children in a spirit of social equity. Often, I have found parents who give priority to boys, and girls are there to help out with housework. A woman who is empowered should especially attract girls. Then it is proved that what she has aimed is achieved. For a genuine man-woman equality we need time. We have to shake off from prejudices.
The projects that have had an impact in society and which she will always remember are in regard to empowering women and education of girls. Girls who were grown up and educated in Has today are in positions in various ministries or institutions. Another thing she has in mind is when they protested for the first time with the Women’s Network in 2012 to seek justice for women who were raped during the war in Kosovo.
Safete is an actor but she should like to perform other roles, too. As an activist she has given all of her being, and she is determined to never stop. She maintains that she will go as far as it takes and wherever there is a need to.